Published On: Jan 15 2013 05:39:04 PM ESTUpdated On: Jan 16 2015 02:00:00 AM EST
2014: Actor Russell Johnson, better known as "The Professor" on the hit TV series "Gilligan's Island," dies of kidney failure at age 89 in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
2014: Veteran comedian Dave Madden, best known for playing acerbic manager Reuben Kincaid on "The Partridge Family," dies from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome at age 82 in Jacksonville, Florida. He also was known for his recurring appearances as Earl Hicks on the sitcom "Alice," and for a lucrative career in commercial voiceovers.
2013: Advice columnist and radio show host Pauline Phillips, also known as Abigail Van Buren or "Dear Abby," dies at age 94 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after years of suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The twin sister of fellow advice columnist Ann Landers, whose real name was Eppie Lederer, she began the "Dear Abby" column in 1956. During her decades of writing the column, it became the most widely syndicated newspaper column in the world.
2009: Singer Boy George, best known as the lead singer of the 1980s pop group Culture Club, is sentenced to 15 months in jail for falsely imprisoning a male escort. He would end up serving four months of the sentence before being released for good behavior.
2003: The space shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107, which would be its final one. Columbia's seven-member crew was killed when the shuttle disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry. It was later determined that the accident was caused by a piece of foam that broke off during launch, damaging the thermal protection system components on the shuttle's left wing.
2002: The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden and the remaining members of the Taliban.
2001: U.S. President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish–American War. Roosevelt was the first and, to date, is the only U.S. president to be awarded America's highest military honor.
1997: Ennis Cosby, the 27-year-old son of comedian-actor Bill Cosby, is fatally shot in an attempted robbery while changing a flat tire in Los Angeles. Mikhail Markhasev, an 18-year-old Ukrainian immigrant, was eventually convicted of first-degree murder and attempted robbery in the shooting and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Bill Cosby had used Ennis, his only son, as the basis for Theo Huxtable, played by Malcolm Jamal Warner, on the sitcom "The Cosby Show." Pictured is a photo Bill Cosby posted on Facebook on Father's Day in 2013.
1991: Ike & Tina Turner (pictured), The Byrds, LaVern Baker, John Lee Hooker, The Impressions, Wilson Pickett and Jimmy Reed are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1988: Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder, whose real name was Dimetrios Georgios Synodinos, is fired by CBS, where he had been a regular on the pregame show "The NFL Today" since 1976, after commenting to a reporter in a Washington, D.C., restaurant that black athletes were naturally superior at least in part because they had been bred to produce stronger offspring during slavery. He's seen here (second from right), circa 1976, with "NFL Today" colleagues Brent Musburger, Phyllis George and Irv Cross.
1988: The NFL's St. Louis Cardinals announce the team is moving to the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, Arizona. The team, which started out in Chicago in 1898 before moving to St. Louis in 1960, is the oldest continuously run professional American football club in the United States.
1980: Paul McCartney is jailed in Tokyo for possession of a half pound of marijuana. He would end up spending 10 days behind bars before being kicked out of the country by Japanese authorities and forced to cancel an 11-concert Wings tour of the country.
1980: Baseball player Albert Pujols, a three-time National League MVP and two-time World Series champion in 2006 and 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals, is born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Pujols, who played for the Cardinals for 11 seasons before signing with the Los Angeles Angels following the 2011 season, is also a nine-time All-Star, won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2001 and is the only player in major league history to bat at least .300 with 30 or more home runs and 100 or more RBIs in his first 10 seasons.
1979: Amid mounting strikes and demonstrations, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, flees the country with his family for exile in Egypt. The departure of the last Persian monarch led to collapse of the royal reign a few weeks later and its eventual replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution.
1979: Cher's divorce from Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers becomes final. Cher had filed for divorce in 1975, just 10 days after the couple had married, but the couple reconciled and remained married for four years.
1979: Singer and actress Aaliyah, who made her recording debut at age 14 and is best known for songs such as "Back & Forth," "If Your Girl Only Knew" and "Try Again," is born Aaliyah Dana Haughton in Brooklyn, New York. She also appeared in the movies "Romeo Must Die" and "Queen of the Damned" before being killed with eight others in an Aug. 25, 2001, airplane crash in The Bahamas.
1974: Model Kate Moss, who rose to fame in the early 1990s and is known for her waifish figure, is born in London, England.
1973: After 14 seasons, the western TV series "Bonanza" airs its 430th, and final, episode. The show, which ranks as the second longest running western series behind only "Gunsmoke," centered around the Cartwright family, who live in the area near Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The show starred Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, Michael Landon and David Canary.
1969: The first docking of two manned spacecraft takes place between the Soviet Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5. The spacecraft, launched a day apart on Jan. 14 and 15, form what was termed "the world's first space station" with a crew of four aboard. They remained docked for three orbits of the Earth over more than four hours, during which time two cosmonauts spacewalked from Soyuz 5 to Soyuz 4, becoming, upon their return to Earth on Jan. 17, the first people to return to Earth in a different spacecraft from the one in which they went into space. The Soyuz 5 spacecraft returned to Earth on Jan. 18 with only one cosmonaut on board.
1959: Singer Sade, the frontwoman and lead vocalist for the British group bearing her name, is born Helen Folasade Adu in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. She is best known for songs such as "Smooth Operator," "The Sweetest Taboo" and "No Ordinary Love."
1950: Actress, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen, best known for playing dance teacher Lydia Grant on the 1980s TV show "Fame," is born in Houston, Texas.
1948: Film director John Carpenter, best known for movies such as "Halloween," "Escape from New York," "The Thing," "Starman," "Big Trouble in Little China" and "They Live," is born in Carthage, New York.
1946: Country singer-songwriter Ronnie Milsap, one of the most successful and versatile country "crossover" singers of his time, is born in Robbinsville, North Carolina. Credited with six Grammys and 40 No. 1 country hits, among Milsap's biggest hits are "It Was Almost Like a Song," "Smoky Mountain Rain," "(There's) No Gettin' Over Me," "I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World," "Any Day Now" and "Stranger in My House."
1945: Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker, near the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. The bunker then became the epicenter of the Nazi regime until the last week of World War II. Hitler married Eva Braun there during the last week of April 1945, shortly before they both committed suicide. The rear entrance to the bunker can be seen here in this 1947 photo.
1942: Film star Carole Lombard, her mother Elizabeth Knight, and her MGM press agent Otto Winkler are among 22 killed when TWA Flight 3 crashes into Potosi Mountain southwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, 15 minutes after takeoff. Lombard, 33 and married to fellow film star Clark Gable, was returning from a World War II bond rally in her home state of Indiana when the crash occurred. She was best known as the star of movies such as "Twentieth Century," "My Man Godfrey," "Nothing Sacred" and "To Be or Not to Be."
1935: Kate "Ma" Barker, the mother of several criminals who ran the Barker-Karpis Gang from the "public enemy era," and her son, Fred, are shot and killed during an intense, hours-long gun-battle with FBI agents in Ocklawaha, Florida. The popular image of "Ma" Barker as the gang's leader and its criminal mastermind, often played up in movies and on TV, has been found to be fictitious.
1933: Writer Susan Sontag, a human rights activist and the author of 17 books, is born Susan Rosenblatt in New York City. Her best known works include "On Photography," "Against Interpretation," "Illness as Metaphor," "Regarding the Pain of Others," "The Volcano Lover" and "In America." Sontag died in New York City on Dec. 28, 2004, aged 71, from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome, which had evolved into acute myelogenous leukemia.
1932: Dian Fossey, the gorilla specialist whose book "Gorillas in the Mist," based off her extensive study of the species, was the inspiration for the movie of the same name, is born in San Francisco, California. She was found murdered by a machete in her cabin at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda on Dec. 27, 1985.
1920: The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris, France, six days after the Versailles Treaty came into force. In November, the headquarters of the League was moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where the first General Assembly was held on Nov. 15, 1920.
1919: Having been approved by 36 states, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification. It would go into effect on Jan. 16, 1920, banning the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol, and last until it was repealed by the ratification of the 21st Amendment in 1933.
1917: George Dewey, the only person in the history of the United States to have attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy, the most senior rank in the U.S. Navy, dies at the age of 79 in Washington, D.C. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
1910: Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Jay "Dizzy" Dean, the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season, is born in Lucas, Arkansas. A four-time All-Star who won a World Series title in 1934 with the St. Louis Cardinals, Dean also played for the Chicago Cubs during his 11-year career and also made a one-game comeback in 1947 for the publicity-starved St. Louis Browns. He died of a heart attack at age 64 on July 17, 1974.
1908: Actress and singer Ethel Merman, known primarily for her powerful voice and roles in musical theater, is born Ethel Agnes Zimmermann in Astoria, Queens, New York. Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are "I Got Rhythm," "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "It's De-Lovely," "You're the Top," "Anything Goes" and "There's No Business Like Show Business." She died in her sleep at age 76 on Feb. 15, 1984.
1901: Fulgencio Batista, the elected president of Cuba from 1940 to 1944 and dictator from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution, is born in Banes, Cuba. He died of a heart attack at age 72 on Aug. 6, 1973.
1901: Frank Zamboni, the inventor whose most famous invention is the modern ice resurfacer, is born in Eureka, Utah. He died of lung cancer at age 87 on July 27, 1988.
1821: John C. Breckinridge, who represented Kentucky in both houses of Congress and, in 1856 under President James Buchanan, became the youngest-ever vice president of the United States, is born in Lexington, Kentucky. He was expelled from the U.S. Senate after joining the Confederate Army, where he eventually rose to the rank of major general and was appointed Confederate secretary of war late in the Civil War.
1605: The first volume of "El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha" ("The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha") by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid, Spain. The second, and final, volume of the novel would be published a decade later in 1615.
1547: Ivan IV Vasilyevich, aka Ivan the Terrible, becomes the Tsar of Russia at the age of 16. His long reign, until his death in 1584, saw the conquest of the Kazan, Astrakhan and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic state spanning almost one billion acres.
27 B.C.: Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus is granted the title Augustus by the Roman Senate, marking the beginning of the Roman Empire.